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Jewish World Review April 3, 2000 / 27 Adar II, 5760

Chris Matthews

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Consumer Reports



No. 2 spots: Woman-to-woman? -- DIANNE FEINSTEIN suggests that if George W. Bush were to choose a woman running mate, the pressure would be on Al Gore to do the same.

"I think it ups the ante. It clearly puts one party at a competitive disadvantage," she said.

Would the San Francisco Democrat, who is running for a third term in the U.S. Senate, accept a vice presidential nomination if it were offered?

"I'm a candidate for re-election," she said. "You know, if I were ever in that situation, obviously it would take a lot of hard thought, but I'm not. I'm running for re-election. I have no way of knowing what he (Gore) might or might not wish, so it's simply a non-issue and I wish it could be that."

But it sounds as if Feinstein has given thought to the electoral calculations both parties must make this summer to win the country's most numerous voting group: women.

The 2000 poll that came out last week gives the probable Republican candidate, Texas Gov. George W. Bush, a 12-point lead among men. The likely candidate of the Democratic Party, Vice President Gore, holds a 5-point edge among women.

To overcome this "gender gap," Gov. Bush may calculate that he needs to name a woman candidate for vice president. And to counter any new Bush advantage from that choice, Feinstein says, Gore might have to match the maneuver.

"I think a lot of it, interestingly enough, depends on what the Republicans do. We'll wait and see," she said.

With or without a woman on the ticket, Feinstein says the Democrats have the twin issues necessary to carry the majority of women voters this November: gun control, an issue of which she stands as a national champion, and abortion rights, which she also strongly supports.

"I think that the two seminal domestic litmus issues of this presidential race will come down to guns and a woman's right to choose."

Poll numbers confirm that estimate. A new CBS survey finds that 73 percent of women want stricter handgun control, compared to 56 percent of men.

As for Feinstein's view of actor Charlton Heston's TV ads for the National Rifle Association?

"I liked him better as Moses."

JWR contributor Chris Matthews is the author of Hardball. and hosts a CNBC show of the same name. Send your comments to him by clicking here.


03/29/00: Gray for veep and Gore might coast to victory
03/27/00: The secret life of a CIA wife
03/22/00: 'We're suckers for underdogs'
03/20/00: Bush's California dream vs. reality
03/06/00: Scary Gore vs. hopeful Bush
03/06/00: McCain's appeal to 'Reagan Democrats'
03/01/00: John McCain fits a hero's profile
02/28/00: Grading the American presidents
02/25/00: Clinton remains No. 1 issue
02/23/00: Will Ross Perot aid POW McCain?
02/18/00: McCain faces fury of GOP establishment
02/17/00: Citizen Springer
02/14/00: McCainia and the frisky independents
02/07/00: A prime-time primary for California
02/02/00: Clinton's final campaign: Take the blame
01/31/00: Which GOPer is willing to pay for his positions?
01/27/00: John McCain's gay radar
01/25/00: This time, candidates get 'authenticity' check
01/18/00: AIDS dooms 1 in 4 in tiny Swaziland
01/13/00: Complacency might be the campaign key
01/10/00: A choice, not an echo
01/06/00: The role of a lifetime
01/03/00: Dangers in Gore's dirty war
12/30/99: Churchill's fighting words saved the century
12/28/99: Candidate Gore's separation anxiety
12/17/99: Catch 22: Leading candidates don't lead
12/17/99: New Democratic leader on the horizon
12/15/99: Is Hillary clueless?
12/08/99: Taking Buchananism to the streets
12/03/99: Why are we so obsessed with 'spin'?
12/01/99: Donald Trump, 'Sinatra of Steel'
11/29/99: Why AlGore will be our next president
11/23/99: After the fall
11/17/99: Our conveniently forgetful president
11/15/99: Next president: Male, WASP, self-selected
11/10/99: Backroom Bill
11/08/99: Please don't feed the 'pander bears'
11/03/99: Battle of the Bubba clones
11/01/99: Pat Buchanan, kamikaze candidate
10/27/99: The year of the woman... voter
10/25/99: The Curse of the Bubba
10/21/99: GOP gives Clinton his finest hour
10/18/99: Clinton's last hurrah
10/13/99: Rough seas for Capt. Ventura
10/11/99: Gore targets Bradley's strength
10/06/99: Bradley's got the right Rx
10/04/99: Buchanan, Churchill and Hitler
09/30/99: Who'll spin political gold in Golden State Gore or Bradley?
09/27/99: Here's a millennial checklist for candidates
09/22/99: The biography battle
09/20/99: Buchanan's new book is a must-read
09/15/99: Don't rule out Beatty
09/13/99: The man with the sun on his face
09/08/99: W. vs. Jr. on dope and the draft
The FALN: Hillary's Willie Horton
08/26/99: Bill's guilt fuels Hill's race
08/25/99: The seemingly inexhaustible strength of America's free enterprise
08/23/99: GOP candidates are weak also-rans
08/16/99: Bubba on Bubba
08/11/99: Hillary's agonizing attempts to understand
08/09/99: With warm regards, Richard Nixon
08/04/99: Weicker: real third party is on the Left
08/02/99: Dubyah's last hangover
07/27/99: Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh; capitalism is gonna win

© 2000, NEA